If you are completely fine with alcohol and cigarettes, then there shouldn't be a reason you aren't accepting of marijuana as well. As you can see from a 2010 study published in the Lancet and reported on by the Economist, a team of drug experts in the U.K. assessed the combined harms to others and to the user of marijuana as less than the harms posed by alcohol or tobacco use. The negative stigma of pot use has certainly made it seem like it's worse, and since using the drug is still illegal, the fact that only people who are willing to break the law will smoke has inevitably made it associated with a "pothead" culture. These are just the preconceived notions we've been brought up in though. A world where instead of drinking cheap beer, a hopeful political candidate can roll a joint to seem like the "people's choice" doesn't have to seem crazy. This scenario would actually be the healthier choice.
Marijuana has a very low risk of abuse.
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is not as addicting as one may think. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, recently wrote in his essay, "Why I Changed My Mind About Weed," that we have been "systematically misled" on marijuana. He reports that marijuana leads to dependence in around 9-10 percent of adult users. Cocaine hooks about 20 percent of its users, and heroin gets 25 percent of its users addicted. The worst culprit is tobacco, with 30 percent of its users becoming addicted.
One of the biggest and most widespread arguments from marijuana detractors is that smoking marijuana will lead to using other drugs. As Scientific American points out, the studies that show people who use marijuana first before trying other drugs is correlation and not causation. People who go on to use harder drugs also tend to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol before trying the other substances plus with with our current stigma on pot only people who are predisposed to being a "outlaw drug user" are going to smoke pot. On top of all of this, as mentioned above, nearly half the country has already tried pot which is more than how many Americans know who Jennifer Lawrence is and much much more than the percentage of Americans who are left-handed. Back to Nigeria, legalization will make the herb controlled and poisonous strains such as Colorado and Black mamba can be ruled out of the market when controlled and inspected labs are able to meet requirements of drug and food agencies, helping those in need of it for medical and recreational purposes prescribe what is helpful for their need without any harm. Every herb lover can also grow the plant and won’t need to purchase the wrong products from illegal dealers.
Also, there are a laundry list of economic reasons why legalization will make sense. If we were to look at marijuana from a purely financial-based standpoint, here are three compelling reasons why legalizing cannabis is attractive.
1.It would raise a substantial amount of revenue for federal and/or state governments
For starters, legalizing marijuana could put a lot of money into the pockets of individual states and the federal government. Cannabis data analytics firm New Frontier Data released a report in 2017 estimating that the immediate legalization of marijuana at the federal level would lead to $131.8 billion in aggregate federal tax revenue being collected between 2017 and 2025. New Frontier Data came up with this figure based on a 15% retail sales tax, payroll tax deductions, and business tax revenue.
It's worth noting that the corporate tax rate used in these calculations was 35%, which was the peak business tax rate before the tax cuts in December 2017. With a new (and reduced) peak business tax rate of 21%, this tax-revenue estimate has probably fallen a bit. Nonetheless, the point is that the federal government could go from collecting virtually no revenue annually from cannabis (it does currently tax corporate income for marijuana-based businesses), to generating perhaps $10 billion-plus annually
2. Legalizing cannabis would create a lot of jobs
Legalizing marijuana would also be a major boon to the jobs market. Understandably, it's not as if that's hurting at the moment, with the latest jobs report showing an 18-year-low unemployment rate of just 3.8%. However, New Frontier also estimates that the immediate legalization of cannabis, and its steady growth through 2025, could lead to the cumulative creation of 1.1 million jobs.
Where would these job opportunities come from? We'd obviously see immediate demand from jobs that put workers in direct contact with the cannabis plant: farmers, processors, distributors, and retailers. Basically any business directly involved with the cannabis supply chain.
Yet, we'd also see a considerable uptick in ancillary pot businesses. Think about consulting firms, software developers that cater to the cannabis industry, financing and lending services, and construction firms tasked with building retail outlets and greenhouses. The list could go on, but the main point here is that it would immediately create a lot of new direct and indirect jobs.
3. Investors could benefit from the long-term growth of the legal pot industry
Another reason to consider legalizing marijuana in Nigeria is that it could help put investors on track to retire comfortably. To be clear, marijuana isn't the only fast-growing industry at the moment, and I'm certain it'll encounter its own set of growth hiccups, as any other industry does over time. The point is that as long as cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, investors have little ability to take advantage of its enormous growth potential.
If cannabis were legal, marijuana stocks would be free to list on reputable Nigerian exchanges, which would improve their liquidity and beef up reporting standards. More important, it would give investors the opportunity to take advantage of what could be double-digit growth rates for many years to come.
Legalization would be a beautiful thing.
The Undersigned, humbly call on the office of the president(Federal Republic of Nigeria) Senate President(Federal Republic of Nigeria), NAFDAC, Ministry of Health, Ministry Of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, to legalize medical Marijuana in Nigeria.
The Legalization of Medical Marijuana petition to Office of the President(Federal Republic of Nigeria) was written by Olu Adegbemi and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.